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TV Review: Ash Vs. Evil Dead - Season 2, Episode 1

Read Eric Walkuski's take on S2E1 right here!

Season 2, Episode 2: Home

SUMMARY: Ash’s (Bruce Campbell) reverie in Jacksonville is interrupted by a reappearance of the Deadites. In order to protect his now lazy lifestyle, Ash, Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) high-tail it to Ash’s former hometown, to find Ruby (Lucy Lawless) who they left in charge of the Necronomicon.

REVIEW: The first season of “Ash vs Evil Dead” was a pleasant surprise. While us fans of the Sam Raimi EVIL DEAD movies got jacked-up by the idea that Bruce Campbell was getting his own Ash-centered sequel TV series, I doubt even the most optimistic of us thought it would be really good. Despite a couple of inconsistent episodes, for the most part the first season proved to be a fun ride, with the short thirty-minute episodes adding up to a fun little follow-up to the series, even if series mastermind Sam Raimi’s (who directed the first episode) involvement seemed to be minimal.

When we left Ash, Kelly and Pablo, they had made a truce with Ruby to keep the Deadites off their back so they could take it easy in Jacksonville, Florida. When we pick up this season, Ash is enjoying some sweet hangs with horny spring breakers, lots of hook-ups, all the beer he could drink and - hey - he even got menial jobs for his friends, with Kelly a waitress and Pablo a bus-boy.

Too bad the fun doesn’t last beyond the first five minutes for Ash, with Ruby seemingly having a change of heart, realizing that she needs his help to keep the Deadite horde at bay, sending them after him to draw him back into the fray. Overall, it’s a quick reintroduction to the world, with it catapulting us right back into the action without too much exposition. If you haven’t seen season one yet, you’ll have to binge on that before getting into this, as it pretty much takes your dedication to the show for granted.

As always, Bruce Campbell is at the top of his game. He seems to relish his return to the character, and it’s a huge plus that through it all, Ash has remained the series’s focus, while - importantly - never letting him mature too much. We do get a bit more back-story on the character through his return home, where we learn he’s become an infamous figure in town that they call“Ashy Slashy”, which makes sense considering how he so famously carved up all his friends in THE EVIL DEAD. We also meet his dad, a brilliantly cast Lee Majors, who, in his short scene pokes fun at “The Six Million Dollar Man” (maybe too on-the-nose a reference) and gets a great come-on to Kelly, where he introduces himself as Brock but says, “you can call me cock.” Like father like son. As he’s still breathing by the end of the episode hopefully he’ll be back. Lucy Lawless also seems to be a more prominent figure this season (as opposed to last) while Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago don't miss a beat - even if they haven't been given too much to do in this ep.

Like last season, the practical gore fx are amped up to eleven, with my favorite effect being a dream sequence where Pablo, still haunted by his possession by the Necronomicon, rips his face off. The FX are always cool. While the climatic action scene is a little uninspired compared to the best bits of last season, the first half-hour of this second season promises another fun ride. Hopefully it’ll be as good as the first - but it seems promising so far.

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